The annual Doc Holliday Barbecue and Music Festival will return to downtown Griffin Sept. 22 and 23, bringing with it entertainment of the past and present.
This family-friendly event not only offers entertainment for all, but has made it more affordable than ever before.
In past years, the festival was a gated event and required payment to enter, but not this year.
“It’s a non-gated event, so there’s no cost; it’s free. The concerts and kid’s activities – it’s all free,” said Will Doss, of Eagle’s Way Church and the Spalding Collaborative, two of the event’s organizers.
The weekend’s festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday with concerts in The Park at 6th. Performing will be The Garrett Collins Band, Mixed Tribe and Griffin Rhythm. A variety of vendors will also be on hand beginning Friday night.
“We’ll have a ton of food and beverages, several apparel-type things and a couple of non-profits,” said Doss. “Vendors will be set up Friday night and all day Saturday.”
Another hugely popular annual event – the Southside Riders’ Association Tab Run – will also take place Saturday morning, with the ride finishing up at the Doc Holliday BBQ & Music Festival.
“There will be 300 to 400 motorcycles riding in,” Doss said.
The SRA will be providing free entertainment for kids, offering bounce houses and train rides.
One key highlight of the weekend – the barbecue competition – promises to make your mouth water.
“The Georgia Barbecue Association competition will be great. We’re anticipating about 40 professional teams because we are having a double-points contest this year,” Doss said.
The barbecue teams will be set up in the Spalding County Annex parking lot across from the train tracks on Broad Street.
“The general public can purchase a sampler platter with twelve teams barbecue for $5. It’s called the People’s Choice, and if they purchase it, they’ll actually get to vote, and there is a prize for that,” Doss said.
In addition to the live concerts, DJ Matt Floyd will be playing a wide variety of music all day Saturday.
From the Shadows of the Past – a re-enactment group – will return to the festival to present three shows in The Park at 6th depicting the shootout at the OK Corral. Each show will run about 30 minutes, and show times are slated for approximately 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Another quite popular event will return – the ancillary cookoff competitions.
Open to the public, there will be three categories – chicken wings, barbecue sauce and desserts.
Registration is ongoing, with a fee of $25 per category.
The ancillary competition will be held Friday evening, and additional information and registration is available online at http://www.dochollidayfest.com.
Another popular event is the raffle, with this year’s prize being a smoker valued at $2,500, that was donated by Stump’s Smokers, who, along with Penrose Construction, is a primary festival sponsor. Tickets are only $5 each and will be available for purchase until 4 p.m. Saturday.
Six partners – the Griffin Main Street Program, the Exchange Club, Eagle’s Way Church, the Downtown Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Spalding Collaborative – make the festival possible.
All profits from the event will go to the Spalding Collaborative’s Children’s Charity Fund.
“One of the biggest things they do is the Backpacks 4 Kids program through the school system,” Doss said. “It identifies children who might be at risk of going the weekend without eating and provides food to them.”
The festival will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Guests are welcome to bring their own chairs, but bleacher seating in The Park at 6th will be provided.
SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::
September 14, 2017